Strayer University Discussion question and peer reviews

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Do you have free will? Or does your brain chemistry make decisions for you?

This week you’re learning about the electrochemical reactions that happen every time you think, feel, sense, or act. So does that mean you are not in charge? Does body chemistry direct your choices and eliminate your control?

Watch the TED-Ed video How Does Caffeine Keep Us Awake? that explains the specific ways caffeine affects your mood, alertness, and performance, all through your nervous system. 

Then, write a post offering your opinion: Free will, or brain chemistry? Or is there some way to reconcile the two?

Support your post with information from the video or the weekly Webtext. 


I believe my brain chemistry makes the decisions for me, but my free will makes sure those decisions will positively affect my life. Does that make my answer.. both? I have ADHD, so my brain chemistry isn’t balanced to begin with; this means my immediate reactions are always going to be fueled by my brain chemistry. Over the years, I’ve learned techniques to curb the knee-jerk reactions to other people’s comments, decisions, and many situations that could arise at any given time; this ensures I don’t say or do anything that will have a negative impact on my career or relationships.

For example, if I see a controversial news article on social media, you can bet I will read the article and get all of the juicy gossip from the comments section. When I see someone’s opinion that I don’t necessarily agree with, my first reaction is to type up a response that goes against anything someone has said. However, my free will & ability to think ahead keeps me from ever posting the comment, because as a government employee I know I am held to a certain standard. It also allows me to use the knowledge I’ve gained thus far: whether or not I post my views, my life isn’t going to be genuinely and permanently affected. What will I gain from “winning” an argument on Facebook? Why would I be so fixated on changing someone’s opinion, especially if I don’t hold my current views for the rest of my life? If I’m actually wrong in my opinion, and I change what someone else believes to align with myself, I’ve potentially ruined something for that person. 

I believe that by letting both your brain chemistry and your free will work together, you become the best version of yourself. Sometimes, my knee-jerk reactions (again, fueled by my brain chemistry) are genuinely the best reactions to certain situations. Other times, my free will & forward thinking are what will save the day. Using both has positively impacted me as a daughter, sister, mother, friend, and employee.


Hello Everyone, 

At times I feel like I have free will on certain days. I have to say that because I was not always like that. But i remember when my brain chemistry used to make decisions for me. I used to drink a lot of coffee and eat chocolate. Boy oh boy do I love love love chocolate. Well, it came a time where I couldn’t live without it. I was beginning to feel the withdrawal that was happening to my body and that was not a good feeling. I would think about caffeine until my body was able to consume it. I would literally go to the store and I would alway come back with coffee in my hand, As for the chocolates, I always have to hide a bar away from everyone at my house. If I happened to go to the closet and found out that someone had ate my chocolate I would feel very sad and depress. Yessss, it was that bad. I knew that I had to get myself out of the addiction that I was deeply in. It was not a good feeling to go through the body withdrawal and feel the headaches i used to feel ever so often. It was a very had task to get where I am today. Now i can honestly say that I have free will, but let me tell you, it was not always like that! for me.

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